Staff Directory

About Neil Holden

Senior Lecturer in Life Sciences in the College of Science My major research interests revolve around the interaction between anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory pathways in Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Corticosteroids are the main therapy in asthma and COPD, despite seventy years of clinical use the molecular mechanisms by which corticosteroids reduce inflammation are poorly understood. Corticosteroid-driven gene transcription, previously suggested to contribute to side-effects, are now a potential target to explain the beneficial anti-inflammatory effects of corticosteroids In more severe cases of these diseases corticosteroids are often taken in combination with “reliever” therapies, such as long acting Beta-2-adrenergic receptor agonists (LABA’s), as these combinations have been shown to be more clinically beneficial than corticosteroids alone. However, the anti-inflammatory molecular mechanisms this combination of drugs activate within the various lung cells is complex, involving synergistic activation of both corticosteroid- and LABA-driven new gene synthesis I have previously developed a strong interest in proteins who have potential anti-inflammatory activities through modulation of G-protein coupled receptors and whose expression is driven by corticosteroids and/or LABAs. My current research projects are focused on the interactions of these anti-inflammatory proteins with respiratory viruses (e.g. Respiratory Syncytial Virus), which are the leading causes of exacerbations and therefore morbidity and mortality in asthma and COPD. Self Funded Masters and PhD enquiries are welcome

Department Responsibilities

Lecturers in various Modules on Virology, Immunology, Respiratory Pharmacology, and Airway Diseases Student Engagement Lead Module leader for Medical Microbiology Module leader for Fundamentals of Pharmacology and Toxicology Module leader for Molecular Virology (MSc Microbiology)

Subject Specialism

Airway Inflammatory Diseases (Asthma & COPD) and Virology


  • PGCLTHE — The University of Lincoln, 2016
  • PhD in Molecular Physiology — The University of Warwick, 2006
  • BSc in Virology with Intercalated Year — The University of Warwick, 2001


  • Eric Reid Fund for Methodology — Biochemical Society,
  • Izaac Walton Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship — Killam Trusts,

Orcid ID


Research Interests

  • Asthma

  • beta 2 adrenoceptor agonists

  • COPD

  • Corticosteroids

  • Inflammation

  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus

  • Viruses

Research Groups Memberships

  • Diabetes, Metabolism and Inflammation

Research in the Lincoln Repository

Professional Affiliations